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November 4, 2010 / davebirss

I was just wondering that myself

I spent yesterday with my wonderful new friends at Rothco in Dublin. And while I was there someone hit me with a question that I’ve actually been thinking a lot about recently.

If you were to invent advertising now – without referring to the history of the industry – what would it look like?

I think my answer went along the lines of “Ehm, I don’t really know”. I prefer to  be honest, you see. But it’s a beauty of a question.

I then rambled on to say that maybe we should avoid the word ‘advertising’ and instead look at the role that advertising is there to fill. And I think this role can be defined in a number of different ways:

  • Advertising is there to open a line of communication between people who’ve got stuff to sell and people who want to buy that kind of stuff.
  • Advertising is there to make something that’s for sale more desirable.
  • Advertising is there to persuade people to buy your stuff.
  • Advertising is there to broadcast a message to lots of people at once.
  • Advertising is there to generate you more money than you spend on it.

I’m sure there’s lots of other ways you could think about the role of advertising. And each one would probably lead you in a different direction.

So basically, I’m only starting to work on the question just now. Once I’m happy with that, I’ll try and get some answers.

What do you think the role of advertising is? And what would a modern solution be?

Hmmmm.

*strokes chin and looks vaguely into the distance*

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